Process servers have important, challenging and rewarding careers. However, the life of a process server is not for everyone. Every state has different requirements for those who want to become process servers, but here are a few general guidelines.
1. Know your state’s age requirements. To get into the business, you cannot be younger than 18. In most states you need to be at least 18, and in some states the minimum age is 21.
2. Learn the licensing requirements of your area. Some states, such Process servers as Arizona, require process servers to be licensed. In New York, servers must only be licensed in some parts of the state. In California, anyone who wants to serve papers must be bonded, fingerprinted and background-checked. You can learn about the specific requirements for your area from your local county clerk’s office.
3. Be prepared to be professional. If you saw a movie such as “Pineapple Express” and subsequently decided to become a process server, you might want to spend a little bit more time evaluating whether you have the qualities necessary to be successful in this challenging career. Professional servers must be meticulous, organized, professional and mindful of regulations governing their jobs. They must take thorough notes and be willing to testify about them in court if necessary.
4. Educate yourself. Depending on where you live, you might be required to take a class before you can get into the business. In other places, classes or seminars might be available through a nearby university or community college. You can check with national and state associations to see what kinds of events or resources they provide for anyone who wants to serve papers. There are also many books (such as “The Practical Guide to Process Serving”) that could help you learn the ropes.
5. Gain experience. Depending on your circumstances, you might want to consider an internship in the legal services industry. Spending time at a private investigation or process-serving firm could provide you with valuable insight into the everyday duties involved in the career you are considering. The day-to-day challenges of a professional server are many, and it would be helpful to experience some of them to better prepare yourself. It is important for professionals to possess knowledge of the overall legal process so that they can better understand the unique and important role they server.